Well, that was an enlightening sucker-punch by the doctor when I went to visit yesterday. I’d done blood-work a month and a half ago (and had a hard time getting a follow-up appointment because of all the stressful crap going on), and went in yesterday. I was told a couple of things:
First, I’m pre-diabetic. That doesn’t surprise me, really, because I’ve been carrying a growing tire around my middle for 25 years now with little success in removing it, and my diet sucks. She said lay off the carbs and the sugar (easier said than done, but I’m trying to curb the sweet tooth and override it, just tough).
Second, I’m anemic.
That second one shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did. I was exhibiting signs for months. I have been exhausted for no good reason, even falling asleep sitting up on the couch (or trying very hard NOT to) in the middle of the day. I just figured I finally had a really comfortable couch.’
I’ve had dull headaches that have come and been around so long I’ve almost gotten used to them. Only when they’re particularly aggravating (or I’m REALLY tired) do they make themselves known as a reminder. That’s definitely something I should’ve taken into account. Even now as I type this, I’ve got a headache that makes me want to shut the lights out and go back to bed (even though I was so tired last night I got almost 8 hours of sleep).
Honestly, it almost makes me wish I had a migraine right now–then I’d have an excuse that feels more legit as far as going back to bed is concerned.
I’ve also had a strange and ever varying appetite, usually controlled by my taste buds (and the horrific allure of fast food). Unfortunately, that means when it’s something bad for me, I get headaches until I get rid of the bad food in me, and then of course that means I’m getting so few good nutrients sticking around. Stupid, stupid, stupid. Only Subway seems to give me a reprieve, and as long as I stay away from the heavy, salt-laden meats, I think I can swing getting the sandwiches a while longer… or wraps, due to the carbs thing.
I’ve also had little energy for anything more than reading or sitting and doing stuff. Filing and all I can do, but even sitting too long makes me tired. At work if I’m at the reception desk too long–even with coffee–I’ll be a yawning mess. But it’s a general lethargy that I attributed to depression, only magnified.
I haven’t even practiced piano and guitar as I’ve wanted to, and skipped out on lessons because I felt so ill. That pisses me off, because I want to do more and get better, but I’m so tired I can’t even concentrate. I’d get to the keyboard and just have a total mental block, or think of something else to do. My memory and thinking have been all over the place. No wonder I’ve had so little progress, and my house is a wreck (just can’t get the energy to clean, though I’m off today and going to try and remedy that).
And forget exercise–I haven’t legitimately done any of that in months, at least very very little of it.
Yeah, I’m paying for workouts and practices and I’m not doing ’em–gah! But if I have no energy, then what the hell?
That’s the worst bit–the cement shoes have come back on and even though I want desperately to improve my life, when I get home from work or whatever, and the sun goes down… I just can’t bring myself to do anything: cook, clean, or anything more mentally or physically demanding than reading, catching up on e-mail, or jigsaw puzzles.
Wow–perhaps the anemia was making me depressed, or the depression was feeding the anemia. Research topic!
I have a to-do list of basic stuff I gotta accomplish, but I’m going to break the list down into smaller tasks so I can get a few little things done at a time, and if I need to nap or take care of something more immediate (like cooking or eating), then I won’t have created another mess to take care of due to my inability to finish.
The hardest part of all this is the uncertainty. First of all, if I’ve got anemia and then get all into exercising, isn’t that going to make things worse? I suppose it depends on the exercise, which is why today’s going to be a cleaning day for sure, a little at a time.
The second thing is that my blood characteristics don’t make sense. My doc kept talking about my hemoglobin and my iron levels being weird in relation to each other (I forgot exactly how), but she had me do another blood test and I’m going back in two months. She’s not sure if perhaps there was some illness or infection that skewed the results on that first blood draw (which happens), or something else. I might have to go see a blood doc if the results are as strange the second time around. But I won’t find out for two months.
It’s not that the test is taking so long, but she wants to see how iron supplements might help my anemia in the meantime and wants to give them time to work. I’m bad with vitamins generally–I’m good for two days, forget to take ’em for a week, then back on a bit. I’m going to have to make myself remember to take iron supplements. I’m starting with one a day until I am sure I’m not going to become nauseous from them, and then she wants me to be up to three a day eventually.
It turns out I was right about why I need to go to the doctor and all, and just get checked out. After all, in the mid-30s is when a lot of the family genetics seem to come out to play, and any issues that might crop up as far as disorders or long-term disease may likely rear their ugly heads.
I plan to spend today cleaning and researching–if I can stay awake that long. I need to go through my cookbooks and see what I have that’s anemic and diabetic-friendly. I also have some fixins I bought Tuesday for bean soup or baked potatoes, and probably need to make those.
I’m tired of buying good food and then letting it go to waste because I’m too tired to cook or do more than throw something in the oven or saucepan. Well, if I get through cooking today, that’s all I’ll have to do with the rest for the rest of the week!
As far as baked potatoes go, I never just heat it up in the oven for an hour and eat. I got so sick of doing that that I would get a small bag of red potatoes, cut ’em all up, throw ’em in a casserole dish, and then put a bunch of carrots, onions, other veggies I wanted (and especially mushrooms), butter and cheese, and bake ’em all in the oven together. The best thing is all I might have to add is some salt and pepper or sour cream and it’s basically a baked potato ready for eating or re-heating. Saves time and energy trying to do the same-old, dried-up, stupid baked potato.
Bean soup might be interesting today, something to put in the crock-pot and simmer a while. But now I have to check those recipe ideas against what the info says about anemia. Some foods limit iron absorption, which is what I’m worried about if I’m going to have to take this many milligrams of supplements.
Hmm… potatoes should be good, they have plenty of Iron and vitamins, but the rest… I’ll have to figure that one out. Not like they have much in the way of an “anemia-specific” cookbook out there–at least, not that I’ve seen. Gotta start with the basics and move on.
Working to get back on the bandwagon, just gotta watch the foot-hold and make sure I don’t slip off and bang my head on the way down.
One thought on “Overhauling my life choices again, but with anemia this time…”
Your “symptoms” are my symptoms, but my bloodwork is nearly perfect. Go figure!
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